Clontarf and Corinthian took the early advantage in the men’s Leinster Division 1A with their victories over UCD and Avoca, respectively, as the business end of the season began in earnest.
Gareth Borland’s Bulls were the standout side of the promoted bunch to the top tier in Leinster in the first half of the season, ending that phase in second place with just one defeat in nine games.
And they carried on that trend with a 3-1 win over the students. They went ahead after seven minutes when Kevin Mullins received on the 25 and managed to get a shot off in a packed circle. It was initally saved by Leo Micklem but it was rebounded in on the second attempt by Dave Power.
The second goal came ten minutes later with Mullins again the heart of things. He rounded the goalkeeper on the baseline before pulling back to Cain Cooney who spun and fed Rob Forrest to smash home through a thicket of legs.
UCD got back into the game thereafter and forced Stephen Cairns into some excellent saves. They pulled one back just before half-time from a turnover in midfield and Shane Madeley finished off the three-on-one chance well.
The second half was a tight affair with UCD having more possession but not been able to break Clontarf down despite a couple of sin-binnings for the Bulls. The students pulled their keeper for the last six minutes but it instantly backfired as on overhead was not controlled and Oran O’Donnell took the ball on. Tom Noonan took the ball and smashed passed the kicking full-back on his reverse.
Corinthian, meanwhile, got off to a winning start in the second part of the leinster league on Saturday with a 4-1 win over Avoca. The Reds started well with some good earlier chances however, it was the Blackrock side who took the lead under 10 minutes in with a well worked short corner, finished off by Richard Couse.
The introduction of Gordon Elliott mid-way through the first half however gave greater momentum to the Reds and Glenn Holmes scored the equaliser from a short corner.
George Dagg then deflected home a second before Stephen Reid scored a third after a flowing counter attack and well worked passes; 3-1 at half time.
The second half was a more even and open affair. Couse and Jonny McCormack had good games with some slick link-up play with Ollie Hill. Avoca will rue a few chances that manage to cross the Corinthian goal without getting any touches.
It was Glenn Holmes who made the game safe mid-way through the second half with his second for the Reds. Young Alex Henry had another fine game between the sticks for the Reds after his clean sheet against Monkstown on Tuesday.
Leinster Division 1A: Corinthian 4 (G Holmes 2, G Dagg, S Reid) Avoca 1 (R Couse); UCD 1 (S Madeley) Clontarf 3 (D Power, R Forrest, T Noonan)
Division 1B: Weston 0 Dublin University 2 (R Nichols, C Stephens); Rathgar 2 (S Malcolm, M Collins) Kilkenny 1